The lowdown -- The Maryland State Boychoir, providing opportunities for musical and personal enrichment to youths since 1987, delivers one of its most popular programs every year at this time. The ensemble's 17th annual Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, patterned after the Christmas presentation by the King's College Choir of Cambridge, should make a lovely holiday treat for the ears.
If you go -- Performances are at 7 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday at the Cathedral Church of Saint Matthew, 3400 Norman Ave. Tickets are $15 ($12 for seniors, $10 for students). Call 410-668-2003 or go to marylandstateboy choir.org.
The lowdown -- Baltimore native Rafael Alvarez, a former Sun reporter, and Frederick-born Jason Tinney will read selections from their new book of nine short stories based on a common theme of music, Out of Tune, at Minas gallery Saturday. The book features nine short stories based on a common theme of music.
If you go -- The reading is at 5 p.m. Saturday. Minas is at 815 W. 36th St. Call 410-732-4258.
'PIAZZA' IN WASHINGTON
The lowdown -- The Light in the Piazza - Adam Guettel and Craig Lucas' musical adaptation of Elizabeth Spencer's novella about an American woman traveling in 1950s Italy with her grown, developmentally challenged daughter - begins a three-week run at Washington's John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday. Winner of six 2005 Tony Awards, including one for Guettel's lush score, the musical is directed by Bartlett Sher and stars Broadway veteran Christine Andreas.
If you go -- Showtimes at the Kennedy Center are 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, with matinees at 1:30 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and Dec. 20 and Jan. 3, through Jan. 7. Tickets are $25-$94. Call 800-444-1324 or go to kennedy-center.org.
J. WYNN ROUSUCK
A BSO HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR
The lowdown -- From a kick line of Santas to Sandi Patty soaring through "O Holy Night," the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's Holiday Spectacular promises to live up to its title. With a 65-piece orchestra conducted by Jack Everly and dozens of costumed singers and dancers, not to mention a guy known as "The Piano Juggler," the big-budget show will transform Meyerhoff Symphony Hall into a Radio City Music Hall of the Mid-Atlantic.
If you go -- Performances are at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday and Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21, 2 p.m. Dec. 22, and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 23 at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St. Tickets are $25 to $75. Call 410-783-8000 or go to balti moresymphony.org.